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RUSH: R.D. in Knoxville. R.D., nice to have you on the program. Welcome to the EIB.

CALLER: Yes, sir. I originally called with a question just about Jeb Bush, but I want to add Mike Huckabee to the question. And my question is Jeb Bush has a record as governor of Florida. Mike Huckabee has a record as governor of Arkansas. Are these gentlemen really conservatives, or are they just talking the talk?

RUSH: On balance, they are conservative. Jeb, I think, is. Huckabee, the only place I broke with Huckabee — well, not the only place, but the primary place I broke with Huckabee was on illegal immigration from the standpoint that they’re all God’s children and if they’re here we’ve gotta do this and that and the other thing. That’s fine, we already do that. But putting a stop to this is closing the borders and stopping this influx. I mean that, combined with everything else that Obama’s doing, we’re really going to put all kinds of pressure on creation of wealth in this country. But whether Jeb or Huckabee, whether they’re conservative or not, at this stage of the game I’m not looking for ideological litmus tests. I respond to things that are said and done on a daily basis. And, you know, Jeb, I understand that, I tried to give Jeb a pass yesterday, by the way, on the way he was reported as having said we need to leave Reagan behind. I read what he said, and I don’t think he said that. But headline said that so that’s what people think. I gave him the benefit of the doubt on that.

My problem is the listening tour. I don’t pander, I don’t put on shows in this regard. I don’t have a public relations agency, and I don’t have image consultants because I don’t want to have to live a phony life. Yeah, Hillary had a listening tour, the people in New York, had conversations with people in New York, she had a listening tour. I don’t think that’s what we need right now. The Republican Party needs to stop acting defensive, needs to stop acting as though they’ve been profoundly rejected and understand why people who are Republican are not voting for them and what needs to happen to change that. If anybody needs to listen right now, it is moderates and the elders, the liberal country clubbers in the Republican Party. They need to listen to the people who have been donating to that party all these years, ’cause the voters get it. It’s the top of the party that seems, you know, out of whack as to how to win elections.

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